NPM: Towards harmonised detention standards in the EU – Workshop in Rome, Italy
Within the scope of the project „Towards harmonised detention standards in the EU – the role of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM)” the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights organised a workshop in Rome, Italy (27th and 28th of January 2020), in cooperation with its project partner the Associazione Antigone.
Among the 25 participants were members of 10 National Preventive Mechanisms and various experts, e.g. Alain Mitchell (UK NPM and CPT member) and Pétur Hauksson (psychiatrist, former vice-president of CPT), Moritz Birk and Walter Suntinger (both experts for change management and the systemic approach). The participants worked on “Isolation and solitary confinement in prison” and focused on the different problematic aspects of isolation e.g. the risk of violence, the impact on mental health and de facto isolation and developed pathways for change to reduce the use of solitary confinement.
Additionally to the expert meeting, Associazione Antigone held a conference with the titel: “Carceri, isolamento e prevenzione della tortura” (Prisons, isolation and the prevention of torture), during which Philipp Hamedl (Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights) presented the NPM Standards project.
The research on isolation and solitary confinement in prison will continue until summer 2020. Subsequently the findings of this research will be published in an implementation manual, which shall support the work of the National Preventive Mechanisms throughout Europe. The Austrian NPM is incorporated into the Austrian Ombudsman Board.
“The mental and physical health effects are thought to be a result of the profound lack of stimulation and social interaction that occurs in solitary confinement” (Sharon Shalev)